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Reviewed by Gobi Jane for Readers' Favorite
The Measure of Ella by Toni Bird Jones is a mix of crime, romance, and adventure, a story that follows a strong female character in her pursuit of the dream of her life. Having lost her father a year ago, Ella Morgan is ready to realize her dream of opening her own restaurant. Selling her father’s tugboat is the one thing that will help her. Alone and away from her home in New England, she is determined to succeed, but the tugboat turns out to be junk and Ella sees her hopes dashed. But she won’t give up. Davis, a man she’s been dating, gets killed by pirates during a raid and when Rich, her co-sailor, makes her an offer to help him pull off a drug run, she sees an opportunity to make quick money that will contribute to her plans to start the restaurant. But things quickly turn bad and she finds herself fighting for her life in a deadly world of pirates and drug lords.
This is a beautiful story and I loved the way the author crafts the characters. Ella is a sophisticated character, a sailor, flawed in many ways, which makes her relatable. She’s suffered loss, she is an orphan, and she has a strong determination to succeed in starting her restaurant business. It is a motivation that is at the heart of the conflict, for she will do anything to raise funds for her business. The plot is filled with adventure and those who enjoy the high seas will love it. The author demonstrates a unique understanding of the underworld of drugs and crime and allows it to come alive in the narrative. The Measure of Ella is an engaging story and Toni Bird Jones’ characters are compelling.